JIJNASA, X D
“I like the religion that teaches liberty, equality and fraternity.” – These are the famous words of the father of the world’s longest constitution, the chief architect of ‘the soul of the state’, the legendary politician who tried to turn the Wheel of the Law towards social justice for all. Yes, he is non other than our beloved Chairman of the Indian Constitution, Dr. B. R. Ambedkar.
Born on 14th April, 1891, Dr. Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar’s efforts to eradicate the social evils like untouchablity and caste restrictions were remarkable. A victim of caste discrimination, the leader, throughout his life, fought for the rights of the dalits and other socially backward classes. His father served in the Indian Army at Mhow cantonment. His parents hailed from the Hindu Mahar caste, which was viewed as “untouchable” by the upper class. Due to this, Ambedkar had to face several discriminations from every corners of the society. The discrimination and humiliation haunted him even at the Army school, run by British government. But the discrimination and the harsh treatment could neither stop him from proceeding towards his motive, nor could it break his willpower and determination to overcome all obstacles on his path.
Despite all problems, he became one of the first Dalit (untouchables) to obtain a college education in India. He entered Elphinstone College and obtained a scholarship of twenty five rupees a month from Gayakward ruler of Baroda, Sahyaji Rao III for higher studies in the U.S.A. By 1912, he obtained his degree in economics and political science and prepared to take up employment with the Baroda state government. In 1935, Ambedkar was appointed Principal of the Government Law College for two years. He became the 1st Law Minister of India and soon the Chairman of the Constitution Drafting Committee as well. For his contributions, he was awarded with the greatest honour of the country, the ‘Bharat Ratna’. He was not just a good politician, but also an eminent Indian jurist, a great philosopher, an exceptional anthropologist, an expert historian, a terrific orator, a brilliant economist, a skilful teacher, an accomplished editor, a prolific writer, as well as an outstanding revolutionary leader. It is in his memory that we proud Indians celebrate Ambedkar Jayanti each year on the 14th of April with great vigour and enthusiasm. On Ambedkar Jayanti, various Dalit organizations carry out huge processions in the memory of ‘Baba Saheb’. The Prime Minister, the President and other high citizens offer wreath to the statue of B.R Ambedkar at New Delhi. Dalit Melas are held in various parts of the country to pay homage to this great personality. Today, many public institutions are named in his honor, such as the Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar Open University in Hyderabad, B.R. Ambedkar Bihar University, Muzaffarpur etc.
In his remembrance, on the anniversary of his birth and death and on Dhamma Chakra Pravartan Din, 14th October at Nagpur, at least half a million people gather at his memorial in Mumbai to pay tribute to him. His message to his followers was “Educate!!!, Organize!!!, Agitate!!!”